Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Peer Pressure: What Is It, Types, And How To Deal With It?


“Peer pressure is pressure you put on yourself to fit in.” -Jeff Moore.


Teenage is the time that helps your kids grow and explore themselves. It may include making new friends, becoming a part of a social circle, or getting romantically involved with someone. However, everything has its pros and cons. Depending on the type of friends your child makes, they may help them grow and become a better person or influence or pressure them, leading to adverse outcomes.


That’s why it is also a critical phase for parents. You need to ensure that your child enjoys their freedom but also stays protected. For this, learning about peer pressure is important. So, let’s begin!


What Is Peer Pressure?

Peer pressure is when a teenager feels obliged to do something just to become a part of their selected social group and feel appreciated by their peers. The social group here could be friends, schoolmates, classmates, or any other large group.


As you might already know, adolescents tend to prioritize someone else’s opinion of them over their own. In order to seek approval or acceptance of their ideology or opinion, they sometimes indulge in the things or acts they otherwise would never do.


Types Of Peer Pressures:

Generally, people use peer pressure in a negative way. But that’s not always the case. It can be positive and negative depending on the type of social group and acts your kid is involved in.


Positive: This type of influence assists adolescents in performing activities that will benefit their health and overall well-being. It may include joining a hobby group to enhance their skills, maintaining a healthy weight by regularly exercising, or participating in competitions to build confidence.


Negative: This includes picking up habits or getting involved in activities that are inappropriate. In worst-case scenarios, these activities may turn out to be a criminal miscount such as sexual harassment, blackmails, or indecent exposure. Stating the obvious, such acts are offensive and likely to get your kids into legal troubles or lawsuits.


It is noteworthy that in a few cases, kids wrongfully get involved in such lawsuits. It may happen because the teen is a part of a troublesome group. Or, the victim may confuse them for being somebody else. In this situation, it is wise to get a sex crimes attorney and learn about the legal rights of a defendant. The attorney will listen to both sides of the story and look for loopholes that will help protect the wrongly accused party.


Why Do Teens Get Easily Influenced?

There are numerous reasons why teens easily get infused by their peers. The most common reasons include:

     They tend to consider and implement the opinion of their group, even if it’s nonsensical.

     The several physical and mental changes compel them to try new adventures or activities, especially if everyone around them talks about it.

     Teens like to take risks that parents generally oppose. On the other hand, peers encourage them to take risks just to receive the minor pleasure of the activity.

     They have a strong urge to look “cool” and fit in with others.


How Can Parents Manage Negative Peer Pressure?

Managing negative peer pressure is important to keep your child protected. Here’s what you can do:


     Communicate: Talk to them daily, ask about their day and what they did. Make sure the questions are open-ended so that you get a more elaborated answer.

     Learn how to stay calm: It might sound irrelevant to peer pressure, but how calm you are or how well you respond to a situation or news will play a critical role in teen confession. It will make it easier for your child to provide you with the necessary information.

     Set some ground rules: It is important to let your child enjoy their teenage years. Nevertheless, setting a few ground rules such as not going anywhere without informing, no drinking and driving, or introducing their friends to you will help.

     Teach your kids to say “No”: One of the prime reasons kids get indulged in activities they really don’t want to do is because they don’t know how to say “NO.” Teaching them how to decline offers without making anyone feel uncomfortable or offended will go a long way to keep your child safe.


A Word From Verywell

Giving your child freedom or privacy during their teenage years is important. However, it does not mean that you should stop getting involved in their life. Know who their friends are, what they like to enjoy, and how it might affect your child. If it seems necessary, consult with professionals to guide and protect your child from adverse outcomes.


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